Wednesday, January 24, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cop held in custodial death case
Another case of police high-handedness
By Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — In yet another criminal case involving a Punjab police cop under suspension and former in charge of the CIA, Maninder Bedi, was arrested last night by the Mohali police and was sent to one-day police remand by a district court here today after he was brought here by a police party of the city.

Pleading not guilty, the accused cop alleged through one of his counsel Harish Narang that he was ‘framed’ in the case by certain police personnel in order to save the skin of another senior officer. The allegation was also made later in the court.

Bedi was arrested last night on the orders of Mr Sumedh Saini, DIG, who is inquiring into the death of a Dalit youth and injuries to two others after allegedly suffering torture at the hands of the accused Inspector and other police personnel of the CIA wing of the Ludhiana police in October last year and the subsequent allegations that the police tried to hush up the case by paying a large amount to the aggrieved family of the Dalit youth who died allegedly due to torture.

Mr Saini while ordering the arrest yesterday at Mohali, also amended the sections of the IPC levelled by the Ludhiana police against Bedi and others in November this year. Along with the other Sections, Mr Saini, besides the earlier sections of 342, 295-A and 34 of the IPC also added the Section 307.

While the case was registered in November last year, the cop was arrested only yesterday. The arrest coincides with a report appearing in The Tribune that two drafts of Rs 2.90 lakh each were deposited by certain persons in the name of two minor sons of the deceased youth, Raju.

The case had witnessed several twists as the family members of the deceased youth, Raju, had infact stopped pursuing the case. It was only the efforts of another youth, Romesh Kumar alias Minto, who was also allegedly tortured and an organisation Vishwa Guru Ravi Dass Mission that the National Minority Commission took up the case.

The DGP, Mr Sarbjit Singh, and the SSP, Mr Kuldip Singh, were summoned to New Delhi in December last month. The police officers ensured the commission of conducting a through probe into the matter that the inquiry was entrusted to Mr Sumedh Saini.

The incident of alleged torture happened in October. The police had arrested around 14 youths on the charges of gambling. Three of these youths were later admitted to a Civil Hospital. They alleged brutal police torture at the CIA. One of them died in November.

The Vishwa Guru Ravi Dass Mission has, meanwhile, in a statement welcomed the arrest of the accused cop. They have termed it as a victory of democracy. Mr Jaswant Kataria, Chairman , Mr Shiv Ram Saroya, President, and Mr Chander Mohan, Secretary, of the organisation said it is a reward for their struggle to bring the guilty to book.


Police accused of inaction in rape case
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — The allegations and counter-allegations surrounding the alleged rape of a 30-year-old woman of Nichi Mangli Colony are getting murkier day by day. The aggrieved family and a witness in the case have levelled fresh allegations against the Sahnewal police of inaction and harassing them to reach at a compromise with the persons accused of rape and subsequent beating up of the complainant family.

The Sahnewal police denies the accusation of shielding the accused. It insists on repeating the allegation levelled by it that the complainant party had kidnapped a foreman of the factory whose whereabouts are still not known.

Notwithstanding the allegations and counter-allegations, the case has assumed serious proportions as no arrest has been made so far. The fact that the police is unable to trace or arrest the accused and has been visiting the family of the complainants, who have neither the power of money or influence, seems to suggest that there is a lot more in the case than what meets the eye.

Subash Mandal, an eye-witness and brother-in-law of the victim, has in a signed statement to the police levelled serious allegations against the Sahnewal police. Recalling the case, he said that in the last week of December last year his sister-in-law (brother's wife) was allegedly raped for four consecutive days by the foreman of a factory in Sahnewal. He said the woman was employed in the factory and the foreman forced her for physical relations.

However, the woman was so terrified that she stopped going to the office. At this the foreman came to her house and tried to take her away forcibly. The woman resisted and the whole family came to know about the incident.

He further alleged that a case was lodged with the Sahnewal police against the foreman. Later, the foreman along with two other persons came to their house and beat them up to pressurise them for withdrawing the case. The police again registered a case but later it also registered a case against the family for kidnapping the foreman and beating up the other accused.

According to the complainant, the police and the accused were pressurising them not to pursue the case. He has also alleged the police was threatening to implicate them in a case if they did not withdraw the complaint. He has also alleged that the police had taken money from the accused and it was frequenting their house in cars owned by the accused.

SHO Gurjit Singh, who is investigating the case, while defending the police in fact alleged that the police cannot arrest the man as he has been kidnapped and kept somewhere by the complainant party. He said the police is not shielding anyone and repeated the allegation that the complainant party had cooked up the whole story.

When asked in this regard, Subash Mandal said the allegation was false. 


Talwandi for ban on bhog ceremonies
From Our Correspondent

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Jan 23 — A flutter was created among the audience when Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi, SGPC President, and a close relative of Mr R.S. Cheema, former minister, started addressing the congregation on the occasion of the first death anniversary function of the latter’s wife. Mr Talwandi denigrating the idea of holding anniversaries and birthdays of one’s kith and kin. He said it was against the tenets of Sikhism to hold such functions as the Gurus never held anniversaries and birthdays of their relatives. He said to organise such functions was just to show one’s strength. He urged the audience not to organise such functions as such functions did not serve any purpose for the dead person.

It was Mr Parkash Singh Badal who came to the rescue of the Cheema family. He urged Mr Talwandi not to issue any such statement on the bhog ceremonies in the state. He said these were the occasion where people gathered to condole the death.


Pinki’s remand extended
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — Gurmeet Singh alias Pinki, the main accused in the Avtar Singh murder case, was remanded to police custody for one more day by the Senior Judge, Mr Justice B.K. Mehta, here today afternoon amidst heated arguments by the public prosecutor and the defence counsel.

The arguments centred around the need of further questioning of the accused in the case as the police is yet to know the whereabouts of two other absconding accused and also rifle reportedly used in the shoot-out incident.

The public prosecutor pleaded that the rifle was issued in the name of Pinki by the Hoshiarpur police and was suspectedly used in the shoot-out incident.

The defence counsel, however, said that Pinki had already been questioned for four days by the police and there was no need for further interrogation of the accused.

Mr Mehta after taking into consideration both the arguments awarded a police remand for one day.


Tension over police’s questioning bid
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — Tension prevailed in a market alongside the CMC here in the forenoon, following a move by the Salem Tabri police, which tried to question a youth in connection with the murder case of Suraj Bhan alias Bau, and a later incident of violence during the observation of a bandh early this week.

A significant crowd gathered before the Oberoi Car Bazaar and other shops in the market when a police party come to take away the youth, a local shopkeeper. According to shopkeepers, the police tried to forcibly take him away.

Talking to reporters, a number of prominent persons of the market, led by leaders belonging to various political parties, alleged that the police was ‘unnecessarily’ harassing shopkeepers who had dared to challenge the authority of certain persons trying to forcibly close the market on bandh day.

The leaders included Mr Harbans Singh Oberoi, Mr Gian Singh Dhillon, Mr Inderjit Singh, Mr Sunil Arora and Mr Ravinder Pal Singh Khalsa. The delegation, later led by Mr Sat Pal Gosain, met SSP Kuldip Singh, at a police-public meeting at Division No. 2 police Station.

The SSP assured that no one would be harassed. He said the police party had gone there to question some youths who were reported to be close to an accused, Rajinder Singh alias Lovely, wanted in a murder case. 


World abandoned them
By Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — They call her Gudia. She is just two months old. She had been abandoned by her parents. Paul Steven, an octogenarian who is hard of hearing, is staying relaxed here, trying to forget his bitter past. Neela, in her late teens, is mentally unstable and is taken due care of. All of them have one tragic thing in common. They were abandoned by this world. And they have one thing more in common. All of them have been adopted by the Missionaries of Charity, an institution founded by Mother Teresa.

About 100 such people stay in Mother's Ashram situated on the city outskirts near the Jalandhar bypass. The ashram was set up under the patronage of Mother Teresa in 1982. Mother's ashrams are situated in more than 25 countries all over the world.

The ashram is divided into different cells. One part is meant for new-born babies and small children. They have named it shishu sadan. Small beds have been provided to these children who are unaware of their biological parents. They are given proper cozy atmosphere with heaters. They are timely fed and properly looked after by their surrogate mothers. There are about 12 children in this shishu sadan. The attendants did not disclose the identity of these kids. One of the sisters said that they keep a basket outside their home in Chandigarh where people leave their new born and they take care of these innocents.

Honey, a child of about a year, is unable to move due to some disease. He recognises every member of his family and gives response whenever his name is called by the sisters. The entire family is looked after by seven sisters with the sister in charge as their head. About five men are there who look after the kitchen garden and the male inmates in the ashram.

The other section is made for the menfolk. The men who are mentally challenged, physically handicapped or old aged. They are the desolates of every religion. There are about 26 men in this ward.

Paul Steven is one out of them. He is in his early eighties. He has been in the home for the past three months. He said: "I am enjoying here. I do not have any family. One of my two sons died in road accident in Singapore and another was shot by anti-social elements. I am grateful to the people like you who have donated me this hearing machine". Paul is all ready to celebrate his birthday with his friends on March 14 this year. He lives happily and chats with his friends and reads newspapers.

Dev is about 60 years of age. His brothers and sisters left him in the home about a week back. He is paralytic and is unable to move. He said: "I am passing my time here. I was burden on my sisters and brothers. They were unable to tolerate me any more. So they left me here from Moga".

Bhola (23) lost his both legs when he met with an accident. He hails from Bihar and was working with a transporter. His sister got him admitted in the ashram. He said: "I do not know the definition of happiness but, yes, I am comfortable here."

There is another ward called family ward. Ladies who can not move around stay in a separate room. Veena in her thirties is suffering from severe backache. She has been staying here as her father is also physically challenged and stays at Pingalwara in Jalandhar. But she has no regrets in life. She takes life as it comes.

The entire family enjoys life and the members are looked after and given good food comprising rice, dal, eggs, porridge, tea and bread. At least they no longer think themselves to be abandoned and neglected. 



POLITICIANS always interpret various issues according to their views, which explains why the government and the opposition never agree on anything. The Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, too, can handle any serious issue in a casual manner. He was here recently to attend the marriage ceremony of the niece of one of his colleagues in the Cabinet.

Journalists found it their best chance to grill him on the issue of “deteriorated” (not deteriorating) law and order situation in the city. There have been half a dozen murders here in the past seven days. Even if the CM was also concerned at the situation, he did not let his concern show on his face. He said the law and order situation in Ludhiana was as good or bad as anywhere else in the state. Anticipating the counter question that whether the situation was equally bad in the other parts of the state, he extended his statement. He said the situation was as good or bad as anywhere else in the state or the country. No matter how many murders take place in Ludhiana, as long as there are an equal number of murders in the other parts of the state or the country, it hardly worries the CM.

Violence at meeting on peace

The district administration had called an all-party meeting to find ways to ensure peace in the city. After a series of murders here and a bandh call in protest against one of the these, the city was tense. Supporters of the bandh ensured that it was successful. It was followed by another tense day when rumours spread that shopkeepers of a particular community had been attacked.

The power breakdown in the city added to the misery. The local administration invited some influential person to discuss a way out of the situation. However, the meeting ended in chaos after a woman municipal councillor said her husband had been attacked and the accused was still at large. The DC had to cancel the meeting. The city remains orderly disordered.

Talwandi’s faux pas

With the appointment of Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi as the SGPC chief, the centre of Akali politics has shifted to Ludhiana, his hometown. Mr Talwandi is known for his sharp remarks. However, for a change, he appeared to be subdued after his controversial statement at the SGPC executive meeting at Gurdwara Alamgir Sahib, about the definition of a Sikh.

Having created a faux pas, the SGPC chief was rightly advised to deny all he had said at a press conference the next day. Journalists, too, had to publish his denial, though they knew well that Mr Talwandi had indeed issued such a statement.

Dull dance

A city club that organises memorable and entertaining cultural shows on every festival, recently organised a dance programme to mark Lohri. Fog provided an ideal and romantic setting for the evening, but, the dancers failed to impress.

It was disappointing for those who had braved the chill to watch the performance. The music was incomprehensible and presented by semi-clad dancers who, the organisers claimed, had come from Paris.

Knit pick

A leading company that manufactures yarn has been organising knitting competitions for school children. Not only girls, but also boys have been taking part in these contests. The company has organised this contest in 118 schools and received over 20,000 entries. About 30 per cent of these were boys. It was a treat to watch these children knit to beat the competition.

Mystic fog

There is something mystic about fog, even though it reduces visibility on road and causes accidents. Many persons, particularly those who live in the countryside, like to roam about in fog.

However, if one has to travel about 300 km or so at night in fog, it is a nightmare. A five-hour long journey may take more that 10 hours and there is still no guarantee of reaching the destination. Recently, a colleague had to cover an extra 100 km after the driver took a wrong turn due to the fog. Fortunately, he reached his destination, though many hours late.

Fog is an excuse for the Railways to run their trains late. Trains, too, love to roam about in fog.

Hospital call

Next time you ring up any hospital in the city, do not feel upset if you hear a voice saying “welcome to the hospital”. People pray that they may never need to visit a hospital, but someone surely is not aware of this. Some of the leading hospitals in the city have installed answering machines that serve half the purpose of the telephone operator.

The moment one dials the number, one hears a voice from the other end saying “welcome to... hospital, please wait for the operator assistance or dial the extension number”. Some hospitals have such messages recorded in Hindi and Punjabi as well on the answering machines. If you call up one such city hospital, you are not only made to hear music, but also thanked for providing the hospital a chance to serve you. God save us from such a service.

Calendar glut

Those who grow paddy or potato are not the only ones who do not find buyers for their products. Those who get calendars published for promoting their products are also facing a glut.

Till recently, there was a great demand for calendars. Banks, insurance companies private organisations print calendars in abundance. However, people now select calendars with care. Even if they accept one, they are selective in displaying it. Therefore, many persons can be seen carrying calendars and offering them to such “ungrateful” persons.

School of life

A few days ago, I saw a bunch of shoe-shine boys huddled in a group. I thought they had huddled together for warmth, but on closer inspection, I found that they were gambling. A tool box had been placed in the centre, on which they were tossing a coin.

When one of the boys lost all his earnings, the others would join in. They said they were habitual gamblers and often lost about Rs 30 in a day. They have been caught and beaten up by the police many times, but they say that they are used to it. They smoked, too, and like doing their own thing. “Who wants to study? Who will give us jobs?” they say, “Life has been our teacher.” Society should do something to prevent such boys from destroying their childhood.

Bus stop out of hell

Ludhiana is said to be an industrial city, but it lacks basic amenities. Samrala Chowk is one places from where thousands of persons catch buses and taxis everyday. Buses from the main bus stand cover an extra 5 km to reach here due to the diversion at an under-construction flyover near Partap Chowk.

Those who want to save time prefer to get the bus from Samrala Chowk. However, the Municipal Corporation has not bothered to construct any toilets here. Women passengers face a lot of difficulty due to this.

Save the language

Everyone wants to show that his or her knowledge of English is superior to that of the others. A signboard outside a property said, “Property for sale — vacant possession”. Another sign outside a barber’s shop read “Hair is dying here”.

At the back of a truck, this sign was written — “Buri nazar wale tera thobda black”. Literal translation of Hindi phrases into English makes memorable howlers. A man translated “Ladki neeche khadi hai” into English as “Misunderstanding”. Many persons say, “Mere ko bathroom aaya hai”, not realising that bathroom where you bathe. The word “crowdy” is used for “crowded” and the word “proudy” for “proud”. The list is endless. Every language has its beauty, but its purity should be maintained.

— Sentinel


Residents approve of flyover project
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — The much-awaited flyover project from Jagraon bridge to Chand cinema is facing strong reaction from traders doing business in the area, whereas the general public appears to be in favour of the elevated road, which they feel would go a long way in bringing improvement to the chaotic traffic conditions prevailing in the city. The traders had constituted a committee to examine the pros and cons of the project and submit their report to the government.

Mr B.K. Rampal, an advocate, said that it was a misconception of traders that the their sales would be reduced by constructing the flyover. He opined that if the over-bridge was not constructed then in the future, increasing traffic would compel customers of Chaura Bazar to find an other place for shopping. He said that this project would speed up communication and traders should support this project.

Mr Krishka, a businessman, was of the view, “Now Ludhiana is no longer a small city, as the population is close to 30 lakh and traffic would improve only after the construction of the bridge.” He asserted that the people of the mega city must understand that it was neccessary to modify roads. “Being a businessman, I think that the project will not reduce sales in the shops in the area,” he asserted.

Mr Gurvinder Chawla, a shopkeeper, was of the view that the fly over would definitely solve the traffic problem. But he was not sure whether the project would increase or decrease his sales.

Mr Tirloki Sachdeva, a shopkeeper said that first the encroachment on the GT Road should be removed, then the flyover project should be discussed. He was of the view that the encroachments had created a traffic problem. However, he favoured the flyover project.


NGO runs hospital for birds and animals
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — Humans show a lot of cruelty towards animals. This is evident when one sees a horse with a fracture, because his owner always over burdens him, a burnt cow, scabied dogs, pigeons suffering from Ranikhet disease and cows with a prolapsed uterus at a hospital run by an NGO, People for Animals, Ludhiana. It is situated in Mandeep Nagar, Chotti Haibowal, on a plot given by Mr Rakesh Jain.

Dr Sandeep Jain, the president of PFA, met this correspondent and said, “PFA came into existence in the year 1998 with seven members. We started this organisation at the bidding of Ms Maneka Gandhi. The aim of this society is make people turn vegetarian, to stop them from hunting animals, to protect wild animals in their habitat and to stop cruelty towards animals and trading animals for their skins. At present our membership has grown to 2000. We have institutional members like Jain Uday, Prem Narayan and Company and we have members for life. These members give Rs 1000 as membership fee. The annual membership is Rs 100 per year, whereas the fees is half for students.

We run this hospital on donations by various temples, gurdwaras, institutions and individuals. Ms Neelam Gupta, the executive member said, “We go to gurdwaras, temples and to kitty parties and urge the gatherings to donate for the hospital. Our monthly expense runs to Rs 20,000. We have to pay the salary of the veterinary doctor, the driver of the ambulance and for diesel. At the same time, we have to spend money on medicines for sick animals. Ms Anupama Jain and Ms Neelam Gupta, both executive members, devote a lot of time caring for animals.

The veterinary doctor, Dr Surjit Bhadaur said, “People even discard their pet dogs if they acquire some disease. Even cows, when they become ‘useless’, are abandoned. Sometimes, these animals meet with severe accidents. We bring them in our ambulance and give them the required treatment. We also sterlise stray dogs. We have so far sterlised only 50 dogs, but that is only the beginning. If we had more funds, we could do more. We have a contraption that helps our attendant to handled cats and dogs safely. Two more doctors, Sukhpreet and Navdeep, also perform sterlisation operations.”

Mr Sandeep Jain, said that they were going to start a full-fledged hospital at Rahon Road, where they had purchased a 3,500 sq. yard plot. He said, “We give free treatment to animals that are picked up by us. It is really pathetic to see 30 pigeons suffering from a viral disease which causes stiff neck and which made them tilt their neck on one side only. With the result, they could not feed themselves. They had to be fed by hand and given water by dropper. I wish more and more people show ‘Jeev Daya’. Many people are of the opinion that while there is so much of suffering among the human beings then how can they think of animal suffering. I feel it is an attitude. If one can show kindness to mute animals, one would naturally be kind and sensitive towards fellow beings too.”

The chicks that were coloured to make them more attractive, sometime ago, have grown up and given to people to take care. They also encourage people to adopt healthy pups and dogs that are with them. Sandeep said, “We are the first NGO body to make the bird and animal hospital in this area. We are the first hospital to possess an ambulance. The ambulance has been given to us by the Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment. We urge people to come forward to help run us this hospital efficiently by donating funds.”

Sometimes, dairy owners, who can afford to pay for the treatment of their cattle, also demand free treatment.


Blood donors to be honoured on R-Day
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — In order to promote blood donation and to make it a mass movement, the district administration will honour blood donors who have donated blood more than 25 times, at the district-level Republic Day function, to be held at the local Government College for Boys.

Giving this information, Mr S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, asked those eligible for the honour to submit their names with the Assistant Commissioner (General) by January 25. He said preparations and rehearsals for the parade, PT show and cultural programmes were in full swing and the final rehearsal would be held on January 24.

According to Mr Sandhu, Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal will unfurl the national flag at the Republic Day function here, whereas Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Minister for Technical Education, and Mr Nusrat Ali Khan, Minister for Sports, will be the chief guests at Jagraon and Raikot, respectively. At all other sub-divisions, the SDMs concerned will preside over the functions and unfurl the tricolour.

The highlight of the Republic Day celebrations will be horse riding and tent pegging show to be presented by students of GRD Academy. In addition, contingents of Punjab Police, Home Guards, NCC (Boys and Girls), NCC (Air Wing), Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and ex-servicemen, accompanied by three prominent bands of the city will participate in the parade. 


CPI flays govt on WTO
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — The Communist Party of India has criticised the ruling SAD-BJP government in Punjab for its policy towards the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime.

Addressing the district council meeting of the party, the state Secretary, Dr Joginder Dayal, termed the recent opposition by the Akali government to the WTO regime as a "mere election gimmick". He claimed the Akalis were opposing the WTO regime now, but earlier they had expressed their support for it. He said the Akalis had claimed that the WTO would enhance the agricultural exports from Punjab.

Dr Dayal pointed out it was the Communists and some NGOs who had opposed the WTO regime through mass movements. By opposing the WTO now, the Akali leaders were trying to win over the peasants with an eye on the elections.

Giving details of the WTO implications, he said both agriculture and industry would suffer on account of the import of 1529 items which could be freely imported now. Mr Dayal regretted that while in certain developed countries the subsidy on agriculture was to the tune of 90 per cent, it was being withdrawn in India.

He apprehended that the WTO regime, which would come into force on April 1, may spell doom for most of the Indian industry, particularly the small sector.

Dr Dayal also accused the BJP of using the NDA government to enforce and implement its hidden agenda. He alleged that the VHP had the tacit support of the BJP. He condemned the VHP for "trying to create a wedge among different communities".


Ex-servicemen flay Central Government
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — The Indian Ex-Services League (Punjab and Chandigarh) has expressed concern over the delay by the Central Government in acting on the recommendation of the Fifth Pay and Pension Commission. It planned a state-level rally to highlight the discriminatory attitude of the Central Government.

The meeting of the state executive committee of the league was held at Punjabi Bhavan here under the chairmanship of Lieut-Col C.S. Dhillon. Members of the league alleged that the government had failed to rehabilitate the rank and file who were facing problems in bringing up their children and in providing better education to them.

The executive warned the government that such an attitude towards veterans and serving defence forces was bad. The league demanded that lateral induction into the paramilitary forces of all jawans leaving the Army should be implemented. The executive also demanded that all widows, irrespective of their spouses’ death during war or peace should be treated at par for all types of benefits.

The executive called on the state government to enhance the ex gratia grant to non-pensioner veterans to Rs 700. Colonel Dhillon also called on the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee to take notice of those soldiers who left barracks in the wake of Operation Bluestar.


Withdraw eviction notices: CICU
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — Mr Inderjit Sigh Pradhan, President, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), Ludhiana, has urged the Industry Department to cancel the notices issued to the entrepreneurs in the Focal Point, the Industrial Area A, the Industrial Area B and the Industrial Estate.

During his meeting with Mr Ramesh Inder Singh, Principal Secretary, Industries, Mr Pradhan argued that the commercial spots were resorted to by the entrepreneurs due to non-availability of any commercial and shopping centre in the areas. Such commercial activities needed to be regularised and the cancellation and eviction notices issued in such cases by the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation authorities should be withdrawn.

He also urged entrepreneurs should be made owners of the sheds already given on lease basi where the industrialists had paid full amount to the government. It was necessary to avoid any sort of inconvenience to such entrepreneurs on any later stage.


Direct cargo flights favoured
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — There is a lot of scope for refrigerated vegetables and meat products in the European and other foreign markets. The rates of vegetables and other perishable commodities were at least hundred times higher abroad compared to rates that are prevailing in the Indian market. In the recent years various plans to diversify the agriculture of Punjab have failed to make substantial impact on the farming community because they were limited to increase the production.

Since most of the Indian states have become self-reliant in cereal and to some extent in vegetable production also, there is a limited scope for the surplus production of foodgrains, especially perishable vegetables and meat products in the Indian market. Some efforts have been definitely made by the government departments and agencies to develop a chain of agro- processing units, but due to high cost of processing and low quality of material, farmers and the consumers could not benefit to the desired extent.

These views were expressed by experts at a seminar on Marketing and processing of agriculture produce conducted here today at Punjab Agriculture University. The seminar was organised by the newly established Punjab Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institute. Representatives of state Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, PAU experts and farmers are participating in this two-day seminar.

Dr G.S. Kalkat, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, while inaugurating the seminar, said,‘‘The models of marketing and processing of agriculture produce followed in developed countries cannot be imported and transplanted as such in India as the socio-economic and cultural conditions were different here.’’ He asked the experts to suggest specific models of infrastructure for setting up the centres for grading, processing and packing of the marketing of agriculture measures to develop agro-processing units in the state. Elaborating his point, Dr Kalkat said special attention must be given to perishable commodities like fruits, vegetables and milk.

Prof Joginder Singh, Head of the Department of Economics and Sociology , PAU, was of the view that though GATT agreement if implemented in letter and spirit would certainly help the Indian farmers in general and Punjabi farmers in particular. However, the European and other developed countries were not ready to cut the subsidies in a real manner. They have just changed the name of categories. He asked the Indian policy makers to exert pressure on the government to press for cut in subsidies in the next round of WTO talks.

Farmers participating in the seminar suggested that the state government should allow the NRIs to open private airports and direct cargo flights from Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar to facilitate the export of refrigerated commodities to the European and other markets. It will solve the problem of surplus of agriculture commodities in the state. Dr P.S.Rangi, Dr O.S.Parmar, Dr F.C. Shukla and Dr J.S. Sandhu also made presentations in the seminar on the production, marketing and export potential of milk, poultry and fisheries.


Flower show
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Jan 23 — Nearly 50 senior section students of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, participated in a flower arrangement competition organised here today.

In dry flower arrangements, Anshu of Class XI won the first prize for her arrangement ‘Sanjh’. She used twigs and dry palms and set a golden tissue dupatta in the background to give the late evening effect. Simran Arora of Class IX received second prize for her arrangement ‘Woods are lovely’.

Parika Rawal of Class IX was declared third for her arrangement ‘The Ethnic Splendour’ in which she used statues of early man with golden tissue and shells. In her arrangement ‘Bubbling youth and serene old age’, Sakshi of Class XI depicted the contrast between the two stages of life using different colours in the first part of the arrangement and dark brown twigs in the second part.

In fresh flower arrangements, Shikha Sharma of Class XI clinched the first prize for the arrangement ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’ in which she arranged yellow roses inside green foliage. Pooja Arora of Class XI arranged red, white and yellow roses and gladiola in her arrangement ‘Symbol of love, peace and harmony’. Himani of Class XI was declared third for the arrangement ‘Terrorism suffering paradise’. Consolation prize went to Anshu.

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